Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Intelligent upsampling with Preserve Details, part of Photoshop: 2013 Creative Cloud Updates.
One of the best new features in Photoshop is redesigned image size command which provides two important benefits. First of all, you can preview the effects of resampling an image so you can actually see what you're doing. And secondly it does a much better job of upsampling an image, that is adding pixels to an image. Just to understand what's going on, I've got this very basic graphic here which includes a circle and a couple of diagonal lines. Which'll help us understand how Photoshop adds pixels, because after all pixels are always upright and square.
Notice here in the Layers panel that this is a flat image. Soeverything's pixels. There are no Vector based shape layers. I'm going to increase its size. Right now it's just 400 pixels wide by 300 pixels tall. By going up to the Image menu and choosing the Image Size command, you want to make sure that the Resample check box is turned on. And then I'm going to switch from inches to percent. And I'm going to increase the width value to 600%, that's going to change the height value to 600% as well because the two are currently linked together. So the old proportional check box has gone away and it's been replaced by this little Link icon.
Incidentally if you're wondering where Scale Styles went it's now available here from this little Settings icon. And notice that it's turned on by default. I'll go ahead and move the dialogue box over a little bit and click right at this location there so that we can see a preview of the image here inside the image window. So if I click inside the dialogue box and this is a first by the way. We've never had this preview before. I see the big versions of the pixels as they would appear if there was no interpolation whatsoever if Photoshop wasn't rewriting the pixels somehow.
And this is the way that they look now. Previous versions of the software, Photoshop relied on this guy right here. I keep it smoother when up-sampling images. And I want you to bear in mind when I'm increasing the width to 600 percent and the height to 600%. That's 6 by 6, so we now have 36 new pixels for every one pixel we had previously inside this image. So Photoshop is making up a lot of new information. Now what it used to do was take the big jagged transitions and soften them, in order to create this blurry effect right here, which was I suppose better than nothing but not that much better. I'll go ahead and click OK, so we can see the way things used to work. And we'll come back to this image in a moment.
Now I'll switch over to a copy that I've made in advance of the same image. Then I'll go up to the Image menu, and choose Image Size once again. And I want to leave things 50%, I'll take the width value up to 600%, once again, and click somewhere in the image in the background so that we can keep track of these details here. Now what Photoshop does automatically if you switch to automatic. Then anytime you downsample an image, that is reduce the number of pixels, Photoshop relies on this algorithm right here, Bicubic Sharper just as it did in the past.
But when you upsample an image, that is increase the number of pixels, it relies on this guy, Preserve Details. So for now I'll just go ahead and select Automatic. And you can see that we end up with these much sharper transitions right here. And just to see what looks like when we've actually apply the command. Ill go ahead and click OK. And now I'll switch back over to this image which we can barely see at this point. We'll see more of it in just a moment. I'll go up to the Window menu and I'll choose range, and then I'll choose 2-up vertical so that way we can keep track of both of these guys at the same time. Then I'll click in the right hand image and I'll shift, space bar, drag in order to scroll both images at the same time.
Notice the difference between these two dramatic up-samplings. Over here on the left hand side we have very soft details. We have some stair stepping as well if you take a close look and we've got some very droopy corners going on. Whereas over here on the right hand image, the better version, thanks to the Preserve Detail setting, we've got nice sharp diagonal lines. And we've got some nice arcs. There is a little bit of stair stepping here and there, a little bit of lumpiness, but it looks awfully darn good and we have a near perfect corner as well.
So that's what's going on under the hood. Let's see how this theory shakes out inside of an actual photographic image. We'll go up to the Window menu, choose Range and switch back to Consolidate All to Tabs. And now switch over to this photographic image here, from the Fotolia image library, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke. And I'll go ahead and zoom in to 100% as well. So you can see again we've got a low resolution image to start with. And now let's say I want to increase the size by going to the Image menu and choosing the Image Size command. And just so you don't think that there's some special stuff happening at even percentage increments, I'll change the width value to let's say, 367%, just something fairly random.
I want to get the sense of what's going on with the eye, so I'll go ahead and drag inside of this preview like so. But I want to see the eye even more closely. I'll click on the Plus sign here in order to increase its size. We can't really see very much of what's going on however, because we have such a tiny preview. If you want to increase the size of your preview, just go ahead and increase the size of the dialog box by dragging down on the lower right corner like so. And we end up with this whopping preview that in my case takes up my entire screen.
Just so you can see the difference here between the way it used to be and the way it is now. This is what we would have gotten out of previous versions of Photoshop. So, pretty soft results as you can see here. In other words, we're increasing the size of the image dramatically, adding tons of pixels but we're not adding definition or clarity. Whereas now thanks to automatic, which automatically grabs preserved details right there when you upsample, we end up with these fairly sharp results here. And this very sharply defined iris. I'll go ahead and zoom out a little bit 'cuz I also want you to see these details right here in the chain link fence.
Notice this is what things would look like if we had no interpolation whatsoever. So, I'm seeing the big pixels when I click and hold and as soon as I release, I can see these very smooth and sharply defined chain link lines. Now the final thing I want you to notice is unavailable by default. But what I'm going to do is scroll over to this area here and you can see that this image is pretty darn noisy, and if I click and hold you can see this is the original noise, albeit magnified. An when I release I want you to notice how the noise, becomes higher contrast. Notice that it gets dug in there a little more.
An the reason that's happening is because this automatic algorithm, that is preserve details, is increasing the contrast of the edges in order to create that sharpness. But notice, if you go ahead and switch to Preserve Details, even though nothing changes here inside the image preview, we do get this option right here, Reduce Noise. And that allows you to reduce the noise, the luminous noise inside the image as you increase that value. And in my case, I'm going to take it to about 50% because if we take it any higher than that I end up losing some of the definition around the eye and I don't want that to happen.
Now go ahead and click OK in order to accept that result and a few moments later Photoshop will deliver the higher resolution version of the image. I'm just go ahead and scroll over here to the young man's face so we can see it on screen. Press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen. And that friends, is how you work with the new and improved image science command complete with the preserved details up sampling algorithm here inside Photoshop.
Note: Adobe Creative Cloud is updated on a regular basis. We will add more tutorials as features are added or changed, so check back often.
- Upsampling intelligently with Preserve Details
- Working with the improved Liquify and Smart Sharpen filters
- Applying Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
- Automating level and perspective correction
- Creating vignettes with the Radial Filters tool
- Isolating and releasing layers
- Painting on 3D objects
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 01/16/2014. What changed?
A: When Creative Cloud applications are updated, we refresh our training to make sure it covers the latest features and interface changes from Adobe. This update covers Perspective Warp, linked Smart Objects, specialty photography updates for GoPro and HDR images, web asset production, independent round corners, and 3D imaging and printing enhancements.